Newport, Rhode Island: Wikis


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Newport, Rhode Island
—  City  —
Satellite image of Newport from the International Space Station
Nickname(s): City by the Sea, Sailing Capital of the World, Queen of Summer Resorts, America's Society Capital
Location of Newport in Newport County, Rhode Island
Coordinates: 41°29′17″N 71°18′45″W / 41.48806°N 71.3125°W / 41.48806; -71.3125
Country United States
State Rhode Island
County Newport
Incorporated (city) 1784
Incorporated (town) 1639
 - Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano
 - Total 11.5 sq mi (29.7 km2)
 - Land 7.9 sq mi (20.6 km2)
 - Water 3.5 sq mi (9.2 km2)
Elevation 30 ft (9 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 26,475
 Density 8,641/sq mi (3,336.3/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 02840-02841
Area code(s) 401
FIPS code 44-49960[1]
GNIS feature ID 1217986[2]

Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. Known as a New England summer resort and for the famous Newport Mansions, it is the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and a major United States Navy training center. The city is the county seat of Newport County (a county that no longer has any governmental functions). Newport was known for being the city of some of the "Summer White Houses" during the administrations of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. The population was 26,475 at the 2000 census.



Touro Synagogue, America's oldest existing synagogue

Colonial Period

Newport was founded in 1639 and its eight founders and first officers were Nicholas Easton, William Coddington, John Clarke, John Coggeshall, William Brenton, Jeremy Clark, Thomas Hazard, and Henry Bull, who left Portsmouth, Rhode Island after a political fallout with Anne Hutchinson and her followers.[citation needed] As part of the agreement, Coddington and his followers took control of the southern side of the island. They were soon joined by Nicholas Easton, who had recently been expelled from Massachusetts for holding heretical beliefs. The settlement soon grew to be the largest of the four original towns of Rhode Island. Many of the first colonists in Newport quickly became Baptists, and in 1640 the second Baptist congregation in Rhode Island was formed under the leadership of John Clarke.

Peace did not last long in Newport, as many did not like Coddington's autocratic style. As a result, by 1650 a counter faction led by Nicholas Easton was formed. The Coddington/Easton divide would dominate Newport politics for much of the 17th century.[citation needed] Newport soon grew to become the most important port in colonial Rhode Island. A public school was established in 1640.

In 1658 a group of Jews fleeing the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal were allowed to settle in Newport (Jews fleeing Brazil after defending Dutch interests there against the Portuguese were denied the right to stay in then-Dutch New York until governor Peter Stuyvesant finally relented in 1655; seeking asylum in Spain and Portugal was not an option). The Newport congregation, now referred to as Congregation Jeshuat Israel, is the second oldest Jewish congregation in the United States and meets in the oldest standing synagogue in the United States, Touro Synagogue.

The beginning of the commercial activity which raised Newport to its fame as a rich port was begun by a second wave of Portuguese Jews who settled there about the middle of the eighteenth century. They had been practicing Judaism in secret for three hundred years in Portugal, liable to torture and murder by the Inquisition if they were caught, and were attracted to Rhode Island because of the freedom of worship there. They brought with them commercial experience and connections, capital and a spirit of enterprise. Most prominent among those were Jacob Rodrigues Rivera (died 1789), who arrived in 1745, and Aaron Lopez, who came in 1750. The former introduced into America the manufacture of sperm oil, which became one of the leading industries and made Newport rich. Newport, whose inhabitants were engaged in whale fishing, developed seventeen manufactories of oil and candles and enjoyed a practical monopoly of this trade down to the Revolution.

Aaron Lopez (died May 28, 1782), who fled to Newport from Lisbon in 1752, is credited with making Newport an important center of trade. "To him in a larger degree than to any one else was due the rapid commercial development which made Newport for a quarter of a century afterward the most formidable rival of New York." [3] He induced forty Portuguese Jewish families to settle there. Within fourteen years of Lopez’ activity, Newport had 150 vessels engaged in trade.[4] Lopez manufactured spermaceti candles, ships, barrels, rum, chocolate, textiles, clothes, shoes, hats, and bottles.[5] He became the wealthiest man in Newport, but was denied citizenship on religious grounds, even though British law protected the rights of Jews to become citizens.[6] He appealed to the Rhode Island legislature for redress and was refused with this ruling: “Inasmuch as the said Aaron Lopez hath declared himself by religion a Jew, this Assembly doth not admit himself nor any other of that religion to the full freedom of this Colony. So that the said Aaron Lopez nor any other of said religion is not liable to be chosen into any office in this colony nor allowed to give vote as a free man in choosing others.” [7] Lopez persisted by applying for citizenship in Massachusetts, where it was granted.[8]

In the early seventeenth century, a large number of Quakers also settled in Newport. The evidence of this population can be seen today in the fact that many streets in the oldest part of town known as the "The Point", are named after trees. The Quaker meetinghouse in Newport (1699) is the oldest house of worship in Rhode Island. In 1727, James Franklin (brother of Benjamin) was printing in Newport; in 1732, he published the first newspaper, the Rhode Island Gazette.[citation needed] In 1758, his son James founded the Mercury, a weekly paper. Throughout the 18th century the famous Goddard and Townsend furniture was made in Newport.

Throughout the eighteenth century, Newport suffered from an imbalance of trade with the largest colonial ports. As a result, Newport merchants were forced to develop alternatives to conventional exports.[9]

Some of the historic buildings in Newport, near the coast

Newport was also a major center of pirate activity during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. So many pirates used Newport as their base of operations that the London Board of Trade made an official complaint to the English government. The most famous pirate who made Newport his base was Thomas Tew. Tew was very popular with the locals; after one of his pirating voyages, it was reported that almost the whole town came out to greet him.[citation needed]

In the 1720s, colonial leaders, acting under pressure from the British government, arrested many pirates. Many were hanged in Newport and were buried on Goat Island.[citation needed]

Oliver Perry Monument in Eisenhower Park

During the colonial period, Newport was the center of the slave trade in New England. Newport was active in the “triangle trade,” in which slave-produced sugar and molasses from the Caribbean were carried to Rhode Island and distilled into rum, which was then carried to West Africa and exchanged for captives. In 1764, Rhode Island had about thirty rum distilleries, twenty-two in Newport alone. Many of the great fortunes made during this period were made in the slave trade. The Common Burial Ground on Farewell Street was where most of the slaves were buried. Sixty percent of slave trading voyages launched from North America – in some years more than ninety percent – issued from tiny Rhode Island, many from Newport. Almost half were trafficked illegally, breaking a 1787 state law prohibiting residents of the state from trading in slaves. Slave traders were also breaking federal statutes of 1794 and 1800 barring Americans from carrying slaves to ports outside the United States, and the 1807 Congressional act abolishing the transatlantic slave trade. A few Rhode Island families made substantial fortunes in the trade. William and Samuel Vernon, Newport merchants who later played an important role in financing the creation of the United States Navy, sponsored thirty African slaving ventures. However, it was the D’Wolfs of Bristol who were the largest slave trading family in all of North America, mounting more than eighty transatlantic voyages, most illegal. The Rhode Island slave trade was broadly based. Seven hundred Rhode Islanders owned or captained slave ships, including most substantial merchants, and many ordinary shopkeepers and tradesmen, who purchased shares in slaving voyages,[10]

American Revolutionary era

During the American Revolution, Newport was the scene of much activity. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, William Ellery, came from Newport. He later served on the Naval Committee.

In the winter of 1775 and 1776, the Rhode Island Legislature put militia General William West in charge of rooting out loyalists in Newport, and several notable individuals such as Joseph Wanton and Thomas Vernon were exiled to the northern part of the state.[11] In the fall of 1776, the British, seeing that Newport could be used as a naval base to attack New York (which they had recently occupied) took over the city. Because most of the population was pro independence, the British allowed them to leave. The city was repopulated with loyalists and British soldiers. For the next three years, the whole of the Narragansett Bay area became one large battlefield, with Newport being a British fortress.

NPS map of the W3R Route
Rochambeau statue in King park

In the summer of 1778, the Americans began the campaign known as the Battle of Rhode Island. This was the first joint operation between the Americans and the French after the signing of the treaty of alliance. The Americans based in Tiverton, planned a formal siege of the town. However, the French (wanting a frontal assault) refused to take part in the siege. This weakened the American position and the British were able to expel the Americans from the island. The following year, the British, wanting to concentrate their forces in New York, abandoned Newport.

In 1780, French troops sent by King Louis XVI commanded by Rochambeau landed in Newport. For the rest of the war Newport was the base of the French forces in the United States. In July 1781, Rochambeau was finally able to leave Newport for Providence to begin the decisive march to Yorktown, Virginia along with General George Washington. The first Catholic mass in Rhode Island was said in Newport during this time. Rochambeau Monument in King Park on Washington Avenue along Newport Harbor commemorates Rochambeau's contributions to the Revolutionary War and to Newport's history.

By the time the war ended (1783) Newport's population had fallen from over 9,000 (according to the census of 1774) to less than 4,000. Over 200 abandoned buildings were torn down in the 1780s. Also, the war destroyed Newport's economic wealth, as years of military occupation closed the city to any form of trade. The Newport merchants moved away, some to Providence, others to Boston and New York.

It was in Newport in 1791 that the Rhode Island General Assembly, acting under pressure from the merchant community of Providence, voted to ratify the Constitution and become the 13th state.

The city is the site of the last residence of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the birthplace of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the Reverend William Ellery Channing.

Newport's City Hall

Gilded Age

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, wealthy southern planters seeking to escape the heat began to build summer cottages on Bellevue Avenue such as Kingscote (1839).[12] Towards the century's Eventually wealthy Yankees such as the Wetmore family also began constructing larger mansions such as Chateau-sur-Mer (1852) nearby.[13] Most of these early families made a substantial part of their fortunes in the Old China Trade.[14]

By the end of the century, many of the nation's wealthiest families were summering in Newport, including the Vanderbilts and Astors who constructed the largest "cottages", such as The Breakers (1895) in the late nineteenth century.[15] They came for a brief social season to grand, gilded mansions with elaborate receiving, dining, music and ballrooms, but with few bedrooms, since the guests were expected to have cottages of their own. Many of the homes were designed by the New York architect Richard Morris Hunt, who himself kept a house in Newport.

The social scene at Newport is described in Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence. Wharton's own Newport cottage was called Land's End. Today, many mansions continue in private use. Others, including Hammersmith Farm, the mansion from which Jackie Kennedy was married, are open to tourists as house museums. Still others were converted into academic buildings for Salve Regina College in the 1930's when the owners could no longer afford the their tax bills.

In the mid 19th century, a large number of Irish immigrants settled in Newport. The Fifth Ward of Newport (in the southern part of the city) became a staunch Irish neighborhood for many generations. To this day, St. Patrick's Day is an important day of pride and celebration in Newport, with a large parade going down Thames Street.

Hypotenuse, Newport home of architect Richard Morris Hunt

The oldest Catholic parish in Rhode Island, St. Mary's is located on Spring Street, though the current building is not the original one. Future president John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in St. Mary's church.

Current Era

Since the colonial era, Rhode Island would rotate its legislative sessions between Providence, Newport, Bristol, East Greenwich and Kingston and did not have a fixed capital. In 1854 the sessions in the cities other than Providence and Newport were eliminated and finally in 1900, Newport was dropped. A constitutional amendment that year restricted the meetings of the legislature to Providence.[16] Connecticut was the only other state to have more than one capital at one time.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in St. Mary's Church in Newport on September 12, 1953.

Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower both made Newport the sites of their "Summer White Houses" during their years in office. Eisenhower stayed at Quarters A at the Naval War College, while Kennedy used Hammersmith Farm.

In the 20th century, immigrants from Portugal and the Caribbean began settling in Newport, adding to the rich diversity of the city.

The city has long been entwined with the U.S. Navy. From 1952 to 1973, it hosted the Cruiser-Destroyer Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and subsequently it has from time to time hosted smaller numbers of warships. It held the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy during the Civil War, when the undergraduate officer training school was temporarily moved north from Annapolis, Maryland. It remains home to the U.S. Naval War College and the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), the center of Surface Warfare Officer training, and a large division of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. The decommissioned aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Saratoga (CV-60) are moored in an inactive status at the docks previously used by the Cruiser-Destroyer Force.

The departure of the Cruiser-Destroyer fleet from Newport and the closure of nearby Naval Air Station Quonset Point in 1973 was devastating to the local economy. The population of Newport decreased, businesses closed, and property values plummeted. However, in the late 1960s, the city had begun revitalizing the downtown area with the construction of America's Cup Avenue, malls of stores and condominiums, and upscale hotels. Construction was completed on the Newport Bridge. The Preservation Society of Newport County began opening Newport's historic mansions to the public, and the tourist industry became Newport's primary commercial enterprise over the subsequent years.[17]


Shoreline of Easton Bay looking south from cliffside at east end of Narrangasett Ave

Newport is located at 41°29′17″N 71°18′45″W / 41.48806°N 71.3125°W / 41.48806; -71.3125. It is the largest city on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.5 square miles (29.7 km²), of which, 7.9 square miles (20.6 km²) of it is land and 3.5 square miles (9.2 km²) of it (30.86%) is water. The Newport Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in New England, connects Newport to neighboring Conanicut Island across the East Passage of the Narragansett.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 6,716
1800 6,739 0.3%
1810 7,907 17.3%
1820 7,319 −7.4%
1830 8,010 9.4%
1840 8,333 4.0%
1850 9,563 14.8%
1860 10,508 9.9%
1900 22,441
1910 27,149 21.0%
1920 30,255 11.4%
1930 27,612 −8.7%
1940 30,532 10.6%
1950 37,564 23.0%
1960 47,049 25.3%
1970 34,562 −26.5%
1980 29,259 −15.3%
1990 28,227 −3.5%
2000 26,475 −6.2%
Est. 2009 38,564 45.7%

As of the census[1] of 2008, there were 36,899 people, 11,566 households, and 5,644 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,336.3 people per square mile (1,287.4/km²). There were 13,226 housing units at an average density of 1,666.7/sq mi (643.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.12% White, 17.75% African American, 0.85% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 2.41% from other races, and 3.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.8 of the population.

There were 11,566 households out of which 22.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.3% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.2% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 14.6% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,669, and the median income for a family was $54,116. Males had a median income of $37,780 versus $27,492 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,441. About 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line.


Bellevue Avenue's Belcourt Castle is owned by the Tinney Family.

Newport has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the nation, in the downtown Newport Historic District, one of three National Historic Landmark Districts in the city. Many of these homes were restored in the late 20th century through grants made by Newport resident Doris Duke, as well as other local efforts such as Operation Clapboard. As a result, Newport's colonial heritage is well-preserved and documented at the Newport Historical Society. In addition to the colonial architecture, the city is known for its Gilded Age mansions, which have also received extensive restoration from both private owners and non-profits such as the Preservation Society of Newport County.

Another National Historic Landmark District, Bellevue Avenue, is the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where important tennis players are commemorated, as well as a number of mansions dating back to the Gilded Age, including The Breakers, Belcourt Castle, Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, Marble House, Rosecliff, Rough Point, and the William Watts Sherman House. Some of these are open for guided tours.

With coastlines on the west, south and east, Newport is a maritime city. Its harbors teem with commercial fishing boats, power and sail pleasure craft. It is known as the sailing capitol of the United States. Many defenses by the New York Yacht Club of the America's Cup yachting prize took place here. Newport Country Club was one of the five founding clubs of the United States Golf Association; it hosted the first U.S. Open and the first U.S. Amateur, both held in 1895. The Newport Country Club hosted the 1996 U.S. Amateur Open, made notable by Tiger Woods' third consecutive win of said Open and concurrent entrance to the PGA. In June 2006, the city hosted the U.S. Women's Open. In June it also hosts the annual Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships tennis tournament as part of the ATP Tour (it is traditionally the last grass court event of the season). Each August the International Tennis Hall of Fame Champions Cup is held; this event is part of the Outback Champions Series.

Marble House, owned and operated by the Preservation Society

In 2001, Newport became the new home of the Newport Gulls baseball team of the NECBL. The city hosted the 2005 NECBL All-Star Game at Cardines Field, which, originally built in 1908, is one of the oldest active baseball parks in the country. The Gulls, the historic Sunset League, and other teams attract thousands of fans to Cardines weekly throughout the summer. Directly up West Marlborough Street from the ballpark is the White Horse Tavern, built prior to 1673, and considered to be one of the oldest surviving taverns in the United States.[18]

Newport is also home to the Newport Tower, Salve Regina University, Hammersmith Farm, Prescott Farm, and the Touro Synagogue, the oldest Jewish house of worship in the Western hemisphere, as well as the Newport Public Library, Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the nation's oldest lending library. George Washington had given a speech at the Touro Synagogue extolling the virtues of freedom of worship and that the Jews were allowed to live and worship freely in the United States. This speech has often been referenced by American Jews to show gratitude and admiration for living in the United States.

Newport plays host to a number of festivals during the summer months, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Sunset Music Festival, the Newport Folk Festival (where Bob Dylan infamously "went electric" in 1965), the Newport International Film Festival, and the Newport International Boat Show.

Outdoor activities

Panorama, viewed from the Cliff Walk

Aquidneck Island is home to many beaches, public and private. In Newport, the largest public beach, Easton's beach, or First Beach, has a view of the famed Cliff Walk. Sachuset Beach, or Second Beach, in Middletown is the second largest beach in the area. There are three private beaches in Newport, Bailey's Beach (Spouting Rock Beach Association), Hazard's Beach, and Gooseberry Beach, each exclusive and located on Ocean Drive.

The Newport Cliff Walk is considered one of the most popular attractions in the city. It is a 3.5 mile (5.6 km) public access walkway bordering the shoreline, and has been designated a National Recreation Trail.

Brenton Point State Park is home to the annual Brenton Point Kite Festival. Newport is also home to the Newport Country Club. The historical club has played host to the 2007 Women's US Open and the 1995 Men's US Amateurs. Tiger Woods ended up winning the tournament. Fort Adams, an historical fort dating back to the War of 1812 houses the Museum of Yachting and hosts both the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival annually.

For many years Newport was home to the series of yacht races for the America's Cup.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame is also located in Newport. The Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is also held every year from July 6-12.


Sister cities

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Settlement of the Jews in North America. Charles P. Daly, Ll.D.,President of the American Geographical Society; P. Cowen, 1893, Digitized Mar 17, 2008>
  4. ^ (p. 73, Wiernik, Peter. History of the Jews in America: From the Period of the Discovery of the New World to the Present Time. The Jewish Press Publishing Company, 1912.)
  5. ^ Kaplan, Marilyn (2004). "The Jewish Merchants of Newport, 1749–1790". in George M. Goodwin and Ellen Smith (eds.). The Jews of Rhode Island. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press. ISBN 1-58465-424-4.
  6. ^ Feldberg, Michael (ed.) (2002). "Aaron Lopez's Struggle for Citizenship". Blessings of Freedom: Chapters in American Jewish History. New York: American Jewish Historical Society. ISBN 0-88125-756-7.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Tunnell, Daniel L.; Hechtlinger, Adelaide (April 1975). "Life in Newport Part II: The Eighteenth Century". Early American Life: 26–31. 
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ The Diary of Thomas Vernon. 
  12. ^ "Kingscote". The Preservation Society of Newport County. 
  13. ^ "Chateau-sur-Mer". The Preservation Society of Newport County. 
  14. ^ Michie, Thomas (1995-04-01). "Newport and the Far East. (Newport, Rhode Island)". The Magazine Antiques. 
  15. ^ "The Breakers". The Preservation Society of Newport County. 
  16. ^ Taylor, William Harrison. Legislative History and Souvenir of Rhode Island, 1899 - 1900. pg 211
  17. ^ "Rhode Island History". Rhode Island General Assembly. 
  18. ^ "History—The White Horse Tavern". 

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 41°29′17″N 71°18′45″W / 41.488002°N 71.312622°W / 41.488002; -71.312622

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NEWPORT, a city, a port of entry and the county-seat of Newport county, Rhode Island, U.S.A., occupying the southern portion of the island of Rhode Island at the entrance to Narragansett Bay, about 30 m. S. by E. of Providence, about 71 m. S. by W. of Boston and about 165 m. E.N.E. of New York. Pop. (1905 state census) 25,039, of whom 6111 were foreignborn, 2590 being born in Ireland; (1910 U.S. census) 27,149. It is served by the Newport & Wickford Railroad and Steamboat Line, which connects with the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway at Wickford Junction; by ferry to Bristol, and by steamboats to Providence, Fall River and New York.

The broken water-front of the island, about 17 m. long, is partly rocky and partly made up of sandy beaches. From the harbour on the south-west the land rises to a gently rolling plateau with maximum elevations of about 250 ft. The climate is notably mild and equable throughout the greater part of the year. In the newer parts of the city there are many magnificent estates of summer residents; and in the " Old Town," the greater part of which is close to the harbour, and extending up the hillside, are many 18th-century houses and Thames Street, its principal business thoroughfare, only 20 ft. wide. Near the northern end of Thames Street, Washington Square or the Parade, connects with Broadway, which extends northward and is the principal thoroughfare through a large residential district of the permanent inhabitants. From the Parade, also, Touro Street extends eastward to the upper end of Bellevue Avenue, the principal street, which extends southward to the ocean. There Bellevue Avenue connects with the southern end of the Cliff Walk, which for about 3 m. winds along the cliffs on the eastern coast of the island. North of the walk is the smooth, hard Easton's Beach, frequented for sea-bathing.

South of the Cliff Walk is Bailey's Beach, a private bathingbeach; at its western end is the Spouting Rock, through an opening in which the water, during violent south-east gales, has been thrown to a height of about 50 ft. Ocean Drive, about 9 m. long, encircles the south-western peninsula. Beyond Easton's Beach, in the town of Middletown, is Sachuest, or Second, Beach, with a heavier surf, and here is a fissure in the rocks, 150 ft. long and 50 ft. deep, and 8-14 ft. wide, known as Purgatory. North of Sachuest Beach are the picturesque Paradise Rocks and the Hanging Rocks.

At the head of the Parade stands the old State House (used when Newport was one of the capitals of Rhode Island); it was completed about 1743, was used as a hospital during the War of Independence, and is now the seat of the county court. In the vicinity are the City Hall and a monument to Oliver Hazard Perry. Fronting on Touro Street is a synagogue, erected in 1762-1763, and said to be the oldest in the United States; one of the early rabbis was Isaac Touro, a Jew of Dutch birth, whose name is borne by a street and a park in Newport. Near the corner of Touro Street and Bellevue Avenue is the Hebrew cemetery. Of chief historic interest along Bellevue Avenue are Touro Park and Redwood Library. In the park is the historic old Stone Mill or " Round Tower," which Longfellow, in accordance with the contention of certain members of the Society of Danish Antiquarians, ascribes, in his Skeleton in Armour, to the Norsemen, but which Benedict Arnold (1615-1678), governor of Rhode Island, repeatedly mentions in his will as " my Stone-built Wind-Mill." Opposite the park stands the William Ellery Channing Memorial Church; and in the park are monuments to Channing and to Matthew Calbraith Perry. The Channing House on Mary Street, built in 1751, is now used for a Children's Home. The Redwood Library grew out of the Philosophical Society, established in 1730, which Bishop (then Dean) Berkeley possibly helped to found during his residence here in 1729-1731; the Library was incorporated in 1747, being named in honour of Abraham Redwood (c. 1709-1788), a wealthy Friend who early contributed soo toward supplying it with books; the building was completed in 1750. In Berkeley Avenue, north of Paradise Road, is Whitehall, which Berkeley built for his home in 1729 and which was restored in 1900. The first newspaper of Newport was published in 1732 by James Franklin, a brother of Benjamin Franklin, and in 1758 James Franklin's son, also named James, founded the present Newport Mercury. Newport is best known as a fashionable resort during the summer and autumn; there are annual horse and dog shows, and fox-hunting is one of the amusements. The harbour is a rendezvous for racingand pleasure-yachts. On Bellevue Avenue is the country club, the Casino. Among the great estates with magnificent " cottages " here are those of Mrs Cornelius Vanderbilt, Wm. B. Leeds, Mrs O. H. P. Belmont (the "Marble Palace," built for W. K. Vanderbilt), Mrs Ogden Goelet, Mrs Robert Goelet, Perry Belmont, and J. J. Astor - all on the Cliff Walk.

Newport has an inner and an outer harbour; the inner is landlocked, I m. long and 2 m. wide, but is not deep enough to admit vessels drawing more than 15 ft. of water; the outer admits the largest vessels and is a refuge for foreign and coastwise commerce. The whole harbour is protected at its entrance by Fort Adams, at the mouth of the inner harbour, Fort Wetherill on Conanicut Island, and Fort Greble on Dutch Island. The Lime Rock Lighthouse was for many years in charge of Mrs Ida Lewis Wilson (b. 1841), famous for the many lives she saved. On Goat Island, which partly encloses the inner harbour, is Fort Walcott, with a United States torpedo station and torpedo factory, and on Coasters Harbor Island, farther north, are a United States Naval Training Station and a War College. Along the western border of the outer harbour is Conanicut Island, on which is the town of Jamestown (pop. in 1905, 1 337), with the Conanicut Yacht Club and other attractions for summer visitors. Newport has little foreign trade. There is, however, considerable coastwise trade in fish, coal and general merchandise, and in 1905 the total tonnage of the port amounted to 1,770,816 tons.

Fishing is an industry of some importance. The value of the city's factory products decreased from $1,575,192 in 1900 to $1,347,104 in 1905.

Newport is governed under a charter of 1906, which is unique as an instrument for the government of a city, and aims to restore in a measure the salient features of township government. Most of the powers usually vested in a town meeting are here vested in a representative council of 195 members-39 from each of 5 wards. A candidate for councilman must secure the signature of at least 30 electors in his ward before his name can be placed on the ballot. A mayor, one alderman from each ward, and a school committee are elected in much the same manner: a candidate for mayor must have his election paper signed by at least 250 qualified electors, and an alderman or member of the school committee by at least zoo. All other important officers are appointed by the council. The mayor and aldermen are for the most part executive officials corresponding to the selectmen of a town.

Newport was founded by Nicholas Easton (1593-1675), William Coddington (1601-1678), John Coggeshall, John Clarke (1609-1676), William Brenton (d. 1674), William Dyer, Thomas Hazard, Henry Bull (1609-1693) and Jeremy Clerke (d. 1652), who, as Antinomians, were driven from Massachusetts Bay, and in 1638 settled at Pocasset (later Portsmouth, in the northern part of the island of Rhode Island; pop. in 1905, 2371). As radical tendencies prevailed in Pocasset they removed, and in 1639 settled Newport at the southern end of the island (called Aquidneck until 1644), which they had bought from the Indians. Most of the founders are commemorated by place-names in the city; in the Coddington Burying-Ground are the tombs of Governor William Coddington, Governor Henry Bull, and Governor Nicholas Easton; and in the Coggeshall Burying-Ground John Coggeshall was buried. At the beginning an independent government by judge and elders was established (Newport and Portsmouth being united in 1640), but in 1647 the town was united with Providence, Portsmouth and Warwick in the formation of Rhode Island according to the Williams (or, as it is commonly called, the Warwick) charter of 1644. During 16511654 Newport and Portsmouth were temporarily separated from the other two towns. About 1640 a Baptist Church was founded, which is probably the oldest in the United States except the Baptist congregation in Providence; here, too, at nearly the same time, one of the first free schools in America was opened. In 1656 English Friends settled here. Between 1739 and 1760 great fortunes were amassed by the " Triangular Trade," which consisted in the exchange in Africa of rum for slaves, the exchange in the Barbadoes of slaves for sugar and molasses, and the exchange in Newport of sugar and molasses for rum. The destruction here on the 17th of May 1769 of the British revenue sloop " Liberty," formerly the property of John Hancock, was one of the first acts of violence leading up to the War of American Independence. The foreign trade of Newport, which in 1770 was greater than that of New York, was destroyed by the War of Independence. During the war the town was in the possession of the British from December 1776 to the 25th of October 1779; a plan to recover it in 1778 by a land force under General John Sullivan, co-operating with the French fleet under Count d'Estaing, came to nothing. Soon after the evacuation of the British, French troops, under Comte de Rochambeau, arrived and remained until near the end of the war, and Newport was a station of the French fleet in 1780-1781. The Sayer house, which was the headquarters of Richard Prescott (1725-1788), the British general; the Vernon house, which was the headquarters of Rochambeaa, and the Gibbs house, which was for a short time occupied by_Major-General Nathanael Greene, are still standing.

Newport was chartered as a city in 1784, but in 1787 it surrendered its charter and returned to government by town meeting. It was rechartered as a city in 1853; the charter of this year was much amended in 1875 and in 1906 was superseded by another. Until 1900, when Providence became the sole capital, Newport was one of the seats of government of Rhode Island.

See Mrs J. K. Van Rensselaer, Newport, Our Social Capital (Philadelphia, 1905); Susan C. Woolsey, ' ` Newport, the Isle of Peace," in L. P. Powell's Historic Towns .of New England (New York, 1898); G. C. Mason, Reminiscences of Newport (Newport, 1884); W. A. Greene and others, The Providence Plantations for Two Hundred and Fifty Years (Providence, 1886); C. T. Brooks, Controversy touching the Old Stone Mill (Newport, 1851); R. M. Bayles (ed.), History of Newport County (New York, 1888); E. Peterson, History of Rhode Island (i.e. Aquidneck) (New York, 1853).

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